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tv   John King USA  CNN  January 6, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EST

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jeans, even the most titillating fashion faux pas, bipartisan. jenny moose, cnn. >> and lose the barack o'mama jeans. >> new york. that's it. thanks for watching. i'm wolf blitzer "the situation room." the news continues next on cnn. good evening, everyone, i'm john king reporting live tonight from martha's exchange in nashua, new hampshire, four days until the nation's leadoff presidential primary, tonight, the stakes of that vote have escalated and dramatically so new numbers now suggests mitt romney could open the race with back-to-back-to-back wins, which would make him the runaway republican favorite. ron paul is among those who warn nominating romney would be a disaster for the gop. congressman paul joins us tonight for a revealing conversation about his goals. plus you can the u.s. navy, get this, comes to the rescue of 13 sailors being held captive by somali pirates in the straigts f
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hormuz and draws the fury of the iranian military. up first tonight, the enormous stakes of new hampshire's presidential primary. remember, it was in this state, the hillary clinton come back four years ago, sent the democratic race into the historic obama/clinton marathon. tonight, starkly new numbers suggests former massachusetts governor mitt romney could all but lock up this cycle's republican race this month with a one, two, three punch. his iowa victory was by a mere eight points, but consider this, a new wmur poll just out tonight in new hampshire has romney leading with 44%, ron paul a distant second at 20%, rick santorum, gingrich, tied third at 8%, governor huntsman one point behind them at 7%. the race moves next to south carolina and this is eye-popping. new cnn/"time"/orc polling shows governor romney leading 37%, a two to one lead over the second
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place rick santorum. governor romney is in the driver's seat and he knows it. >> he not only wasted government money he made it more difficult for prep news and innovators to come one new ideas in the future. this president doesn't understand how this economy works. it's time to get a president who does. [ applause ] this election, this election is about the soul of america, folks. >> let's crunch these dramatic numbers and their big meaning with "time" deputy washington bureau chief, michael crowley. let's start here in new hampshire before the south carolina numbers. the wmur poll out, romney 44, ron paul, 20, santorum and gingrich at 8%, is the goal in these big weekend debate, i can't assume they are going to beat him, how low do they need to knock romney down? >> a peg or two from where he is now the remarkable thing, john, they need to lift themselves up.
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i'm struck how low santorum's number s he got such a boost out of iowa. the surprise dramatic win, tops of free media, people talking about how he gave this great speech afterwards. 8%, i mean, he may be up from where he was, but still pretty weak. these guys and newt, also, they have to rise a lot. also know that huntsman is not moving in that poll. great news for romney all around. terrible news for the other guys. >> assuming romney, the former governor of massachusetts, he owns a vacation home here, he campaigned here for six years, assuming he can stay above 40% or in this ballpark that has been a momentum race even though the iowa whip is eight votes. he doesn't win in new hampshire, moves to south carolina, the numbers are stunning, romney 37%, up from 20 in december. santorum a big bounce there, evangelicals rallying at his side, 14, up from a month ago. gingrich, a 25-point tumble, a 25-point tumble, down 18%, down
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from 43%. a lot of people will say, wow, this is about delegates f romney can do iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, can anyone stop him? >> if romney can do those three, like he has gone from the little red caboose to high speed rail and i don't want to be standing in front of that train, i don't think nip does. and the problem for his rivals is compounded by the way the field is splintered. so maybe if you had santorum trying to hold the line, present himself as the anti-romney guy or if it was just newt, one of those guys could make a stand, particularly in south carolina, conservative southern state, the two of them down there splitting up the vote, no sign that one is going to defer to the other. i just don't see how they turn it around, the one caveat that in 2008, we were all saying hillary clinton is going to win in new hampshire and how is barack obama going to recover? it did not go according to script that is the big asterisk here. >> it is the big asterisk here. you have scrubbed the numbers very closely. anything, anything, when you look at the subgroups, evangelicals, nonevangelicals, tea party voters, anything in
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the south carolina voters, team romney, you see the opening, the spot you should be nervous about? >> i actually think that romney's level in south carolina is surprisingly high. i mean, i think there's good news across the board for him. you look at him pushing 40%. i mean, he is, in south carolina, basically where he is in new hampshire, which is his home turf, which is his kind of what has become his backyard. i was really struck that his support is at that level. he is not just in first place, necessary a clear, commanding first place, drawing from all directions. i don't want to overstate and things can change this is great news for him across the board. >> it certainly is. michael crowly, times deputy bureau chief. appreciate that tonight. south carolina prides itself as the place republican nomination battles are decided. cnn's peter hamby live in greenville tonight. you know the popular thinking it has been south carolina conservative, a lot of evange c evangelicals a lost cause for a more pragmatic conservative like
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mitt romney what is behind these dramatic numbers? >> well, you know, it is starting to look like a lot like the mccain path to victory in '08, had the divided conservative field like we saw romney this week, where he can skate to whip the primary. this state has been perceived a long time as being this hive of evangel evangelicals and conservative state. [ no audio ] where i am in greenville, yes, a lot of megachurches but also a lot of international companies. romney is a business guy. you go down to the coast there is a strong military and veteran presence. he was there with john mccain today. romney running on a really strong national security platform. got a lot of commuters around the charlotte suburbs, so it's a very, you know, broad cross section of republican voters in this state. as you and michael pointed out, romney is running well among all groups, running well against born again christians, college grad, down scale voters, doing
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fantastic here and people in south carolina thought he was the front-runner coming into this poll but surprised that it was this -- he was doing this well, john. >> peter hamby on the ground in greenville, south carolina. south carolina considers itself the firewall. thanks. newt gingrich tried to put out a fire storm in the blogosphere that started with remarks at a town hall here in new hampshire last night. the former speaker said people deserve jobs, not food stamps and offered to explain his views to the naacp. >> i'm prepared, if the naacp invites me, goal to their convention and talk about why the african-american community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps. >> today, the naacp president, benjamin jealous suggested that gingrich has his facts wrong. "it is a shame that the former speaker feels that these types of inaccurate, divisive statements are in any way helpful to our country. the majority of people using food stamps are not african-american and most people using food stamps have a job." today, a defiant gingrich
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rejected claims his remarks were in any way racist. >> for the life of me, i cannot understand why having a conservative republican who cares about young people having jobs should be seen as such a terrible idea. or should be seen as somehow a racist characterization. i think all young people of every ethnic background should have jobs. read the two paragraph, i repudiate the grotesque reinterpretation some people have done. >> happy at the white house today, but the republican candidates gave president obama no credit for today's fairly upbeat report smoke the country's unemployment rate going down. rick santorum claiming republicans are responsible for the december spurt in job growth. listen. >> i'm very dprat if ied to see that in spite of president obama's policies, the job market is beginning to pick up a little bit. i think there might just be some optimism that maybe republicans are going to take the white
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house and maybe that's spurring people to start taking some risks and i will take that as a reason. >> let's take a closer look at that solid jobs report for december, 200,000 jobs created and the unemployment rate falling to 8.5%, the lowest level since february 2009. cnn business correspondent alison kosik has been taking a closer look at the numbers a good showing, but if you dig deep, still some trouble spots, right? >> exactly. the way economists see it, john, a good report, just not good enough, sure things are moving in the right direction, they are improving but that means expectations are rising, too, these numbers that you came out, they didn't really hit it out of the park and the way wall street sees it, they want to see the economy pick up steam and then, of course, you look deep near the report to see why we may not be out of the woods just yet. you know, economists are concerned that people coming back into the workforce are taking lower-paying jobs and the reality is with that, it doesn't do much for consumer confidence and then there's the worry that the bump in the number of jobs
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created was actually because of all that holiday-related hiring. many of those are temporary positions, we will know for sure the next few weeks there is also that cloud from europe still hanging over every egg and wore there is it could limit our economic growth this year, so sure, we have got a lot of weights on the economy still. nevertheless that 200,000 number still on the headline, looks pretty good. john? >> we will see if that can be sustained the months ahead. if you look through the demographic, one group that stands out having a particularly hard time in this jobs market is african-americans. what's up there? >> exactly, the unemployment rate didn't budge for african-americans. the black unemployment rate, you look at it in december, was 15.8%, the same as it was at the start of 2011. you compare that to the rates for whites at 7.5%. you know what economists say, unfortunately, nothing new. the black unemployment rate has been double that of whites since the government began tracking these figures 40 years ago. here's one of the reasons why,
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education, fewer blacks have -- have college degrees, but there's good news with some of these numbers at least, the jobs picture for black men is improving but it is getting worse for black women and that's because of all these job cuts happening at the federal, state and local levels, most public sector jobs are filled by women and minorities, these job cuts have picked up steam the last few year, almost a quarter million state and local government jobs lost last year and experts say the bleeding is likely to continue this year. john? >> alison kosik live for us on wall street, encouraging report from the white house perspective but sober analysis, a long way to go. ron paul brought his campaign to new hampshire today, after an initial rally, he sat down with us to talk about his rival, including newt gingrich. >> some people think he is real, real conservative and hasn't engaged in flip flopping and spending money, i think we should talk about it. and later, the u.s. navy comes to the rescue of some
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we are live tonight in
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nashua, new hampshire, martha's exchange. look at that time here, a bustling restaurant on main street in downtown nashua. you look behind me, you might see some tanks, yes, it is a microbrewery. funny we would end up here, isn't it? also a sweets shop. local artisans make these sweets, nonparallels, jelly beans, yogurt covered cray since, truffles, coming back to the staff in washington, d.c., courtesy of laura bernadinny. vote is four days away, ron paul's third place finish in iowa, since he is rising, his poll numbers they make him a target, lately, rivals have taken to calling him and his views, especially when it comes to iran, dangerous. when the texas congressman arrived in new hampshire this afternoon, he had an answer for those critics. >> you know, some of our opponents have labeled us and i just want to talk about that for a minute. they call us dangerous. you know in a way, we are, to their empire. that's what we are dangerous to.
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>> congressman paul, thank you for your time. let's start with the state of the race. governor romney wins narrowly in iowa, well ahead here in new hampshire and we have a poll out here tonight, shows him with a double-digit lead in south carolina f he goes 3-0 out of the gate, almost impossible to stop, no? >> it's going to be difficult but not impossible. i mean, it's still only two primaries after the two. but history snows you do that you are in a pretty strong position, but we haven't had the first primary yet, we had a caucus and have to wait and see what happens on tuesday. >> you have two dewaits in weekend? >> right. >> you view them as maybe the last opportunity to convince republicans romney's not your guy? why would you -- in new hampshire and maybe beyond? why would you say wrong guy, mitt romney? >> i don't think he is very republican when you talk about being a conservative. you know, we say he is a flip floerp and people called him that all along, he's been on both sides of most of the issues, right now, people are looking for somebody that will stick to their guns and not
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capitulate to go along to get along. i don't think he stands out as somebody who will stand firm on conservative principles. >> senator santorum comes out of iowa thinking he is the conservative to romney s he? >> i'm a conservative. i'm going to obey the constitution that is the basis of conservatism. that doesn't mean i'm big government guy who wants to run people's lives. i don't understand why conservatives think the more money you spend overseas, the more conservative you are? it doesn't make any sense. the american people are wake up to this, most of the time it is money down the drain, contribute to us a debt, hurts our economy, so, i'm a conservative across the board. i believe in small government. republicans claim they do, but i want smaller government all the way across the board and protect personal liberty as well as getting the government running the economy and quit running up these debt. that is yes proposed $1 trillion cut in one year. >> speaker beginning rich in our south carolina poll has tumbled 25 points in a month. your campaign seems to view him
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as a threat down there, a new mailing from the paul campaign says this, newt gingrich has a long record of liberal appea appeasement, flip-flopping on key issues and lobbying for insider millions. i have rarely seen a candidate who represents so much of what is wrong with washington and wrong with our political system s it personal between you and newt? you served together? >> probably no i have never had a cross word with him. we have been on opposite sides of the political arguments, you know, forever. i mean, he worked pretty hard against me in campaigns, so, this is nothing new. i don't ever remember having a cross word with him. as a matter of fact, there were times when he knew exactly where i was coming from, he never bothered me when i was in congress because he didn't think it was worth his time to twist my arm n a way, i thought that was respect, but you know, in politics, if testimony think he is real, real conservative and hasn't engaged in flip flopping and spending money, i think we should talk about t. >> as you know, you have been a target at these debates because you are doing well. over 20% in iowa, polling with until new hampshire and other
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guys want to stay in the ray they need those vote they have come after you, you mentioned at the rally here, they call you dangerous, naive, especially when it comes to iran and your views on the nuclear pro, you stay is none of our business. i want to ask you specifically about the recent events, iran says it will have another round of naval exercise? the straits of hormuz next month t says it would respond, attack, with he believe, if the united states sent an aircraft carrier through those oil shipping lanes to keep them open what would president paul do right now when iran saber rattles like that? >> i you think they are flexing their muscles, i don't think they have anything else left. they can't defend themselves very well against america's power, so, they are just hoping that we will back off from bombing them and destroying their country and starting another war. so but it's not in their interests to start the war. they are trying to avert the war so they -- and close straits or attack an american vessel? no way that is going to happen but they are verbalizing this,
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because, as a matter of fact, even these sanctions respect wholeheartedly agreed to, eastern europe, disrupt oil, oil jumped up $4 the other day because of this type of a problem. so these sanctions are not an answer, i think that is an introduction to a real problem, do a lot of this talking but i think they know what's in their best interest and for them to attack one of our vessels or close the straits under these circumstance i think it's utterly remote. >> take a quick break. we will continue our conversation with congressman ron paul a bit later in the program. stand by. but please stay here for more of that conversation, among other things we discuss with congressman paul, his take, why he is so popular with young people. >> amazing. they want you to follow the rules. you think the student, the young people don't want to follow the rule bus they want politicians to follow the rules because they -- they suffer abuse if the government runs rough shod over them. also, quick action in the
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welcome back, more live from new hampshire in just a moment, but right now, here is kate bolduan with other news you need to know right now. hey there. >> hey, john. good evening, everyone. despite all of iran's recent bluster and muscle flexing in the persian gulf, it was the u.s. navy that came to the rescue when an iraniansh ship w captured by pirates. 15 suspected pirates are now in u.s. custed toed to ditch 193
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iranian hostages say their ship had been held for 45 days in the northern arainian sea. they said thank you, by the way. the u.s. military is taking quick action in the wake of a newly revealed scandal. the air force academy charged three male cad economies in the separate case of sexual assault. the announcement came about a week after a defense department report revealed a sharp increase in sexual assaults in all of the military academies. now, i want to warn you this is graphic, i want to apologize and i want you to take a deep breath. this may make you cringe this evening. what you are looking at, right here is a 180-pound time they're had been growing on this man's leg for about 27 years, since he was a little boy. doctors in vietnam, they had to amputate his leg as well. they say though, with therapy, he will be okay. it is one of those stories that you just can't believe sometimes. another story you just can't believe, an attorney for a dallas family says their teenage daughter is on their way back home from south america. the girl was mistakenly deported
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to colombia. she had runaway from home and when authorities found her, she lined gave them a latino-sounding name. instead of checking her story, they deported her. just one of the stories, so many questions to be answered about that one, right? >> i think there are bizarre questions on every end of that story, why did she fly is why didn't they check it out? what was going on in the first place? i heard her lawyer this morning saying might sue the government. this one's not over. we welcome her home, see where this goes from there kate, we will see you in a few minutes. coming up here, more of our conversation with congressman ron paul. his presidential campaign accepts donation from some groups that well, are way outside of the mainstream. choose bother him? >> i do not investigate them. there's no way i can do it. happens to all the campaigns. you want to go back and check everybody that ever donated to obama? maybe there was a communist that donated to him, maybe a socialist. and next, the word rick santorum said most when he was a u.s. senator from pennsylvania.
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when bp made a commitment to the gulf, we knew it would take time, but we were determined to see it through. today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years. thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard.
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i'm glad to report all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy. and the economy is showing progress with many areas on the gulf coast having their best tourism seasons in years. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp. we're committed to the gulf for everyone who loves it, and everyone who calls it home.
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this half house, we take you to rick santorum's old stomping ground. pennsylvania voters tell us what they did for him and why they resoundingly voted him out of the senate. next week is on the second vote of the campaign cycle but it is a painful history lesson for any candidate not named mitt romney. and charles barkley just been reminded of something every politician and reporter needs to know. watch what you say. that microphone, it might be on.
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and in this case, firefighters. -- and in this case, it was. mitt romney's rivals insist the republican party is courting disaster if the former massachusetts governor becomes the nominee. today, newt gingrich calling romney the massachusetts moderate and the weakest front runner history compared romney with michael dukakis and john kerry, whose general election campaigns didn't go so well. gloria borger caught one senator santorum today and asked him what he thinks. >> do you agree with newt gingrich when he says that mitt romney could be the weakest front-runner in history? >> i -- i'm not a political analyst, i'm a candidate for president. >> you were one on tv. >> i used to play one on tv, but i don't anymore. and i'm -- i am a candidate for president and i'm going to talk about the things that i want to do for this country and why people should vote for me.
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>> you are not taking on mitt romney? >> i will take on mitt romney, rest assured, take him on on the issues. i'm not going to make judgments about his character. i'm not going to make judgments whether he is going to be weak or strong, i will make the arguments and let people then make decision, the best way, what i did with the questions here. right? said there was an article written by -- i can't remember the name of the journalist but the title of the article, my final pitch to iowa, was ask don't tell, a little spinoff of don't ask, don't tell. my final pitch to iowans was ask, don't tell. i'm asking them to lead and be bold. >> senator santorum there. you know, he's former pennsylvania senator, known for his conservative opinions so it is no surprise he said abortion more than any other word in the senate according to the sunlight foundation, a nonpartisan foundation. jason carroll take us to where
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santorum's career began. >> reporter: those in the state who personally know him -- >> rick is what rick is. he tells it like it s. >> reporter: or whether it's here who simply know of him. >> i think he is trying to establish a christian unity. >> reporter: you're not likely to find a shortage of strong opinions in penn hill, pennsylvania, about rick santorum. his number two showing in iowa, not so surprising to those who remember another race where he unexpectedly did well. november 1990, as 32-year-old newcomer, santorum upset the seven-term democrat, his campaign effectively raising questions about the incouple bent's residency. >> we worked hard and, you know, that's how we won. >> reporter: phil english was one of santorum's campaign managers. the rick santorum of that time, outspoken, smart, aggressive, and willing to burp the candle at both ends, is essentially the
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same guy. >> reporter: rick santorum's interest in politics was evidence even while he was a student here at penn state. he majored in political science. he organized a group of college republicans. and he was so successful at doing that, he was named coordinate over president reagan's youth effort here in the state. when santorum was a sore more, went to work for state senator doyle coreman, who says even back then, santorum was nope for expressing his opinions. >> if he disagreed with me, he told me. and we would debate t. >> this is a picture of senator santorum and my parents. >> reporter: coreman's son, jake, worked for santorum and now that jake coreman is himself a state senator, his unique perspective on santorum -- >> i was set up, right up his alley. >> why is that? >> because, first of all, he's hard worker. you know, he will -- never outwork rick santorum. >> reporter: he has been outworked, in 2006, santorum lost his re-election bid by 18 points, the largest margin of defeat for any incumbent
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republican senator. ironically, questions about santorum's residency, whether he lived in penn hill, pennsylvania, or virginia, led to that defeat. >> mr. santorum never lived in our community. so, i wouldn't know what he represents. you know, he acts more like a hypocrite every day. >> reporter: also calls him safe cultural conservative and he says that mitt romney is the type of conservative that during a time of economic crisis can pull in a broad coalition to capture the white house. and john, that is why he is throwing his support behind mitt romney. john? >> and jason, i knew congressman english when he was in washington. does he feel santorum is not strong enough on the economic issues? think the social issues overshadowing his campaign? where does he see the problem? >> i think from english's point of view, it's what has happened throughout santorum's career is basically as it has developed
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has become more known for his views on issues such as abortion, such as gay rights, rather than economic issues. and according to what english feels, he says this is a time now for a candidate who can speak to the economic issues, who has an economic platform on a national level, that people can recognize. and i think that's why he is now throwing his support behind mitt romney. >> great look there. great reporting on the background. jason carroll, thank you. more from our conversation with congressman ron paul. this year, like barack obama back in 2008, the paul candidacy has captured the imagine nation of many young voters. we asked the 79-year-old congressman why. you are the oldest candidate in the republican race, yet that the rally we were just at in nashua, new hampshire, much like iowa, off room packed, packed with young people, college students. some people roll their eyes and say because ron paul wants to decriminalize drugs why are they
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here? >> i think they know what freedom means and that's what i talk about and they know when i talk about debt, they know they are getting a bad rap on this and they don't like war and they see we have gone into war too often and bear the burden financially as well as young people will be sent over, so, it is a message that i think is instinctively popular with a lot of young people. people say where did i get my views and when i did develop step in i think when i was born with them h but knocked out of me by the establishment, by teachers and government and tv and oh, no you can't be that free, but young people are very principled, they like people to stand firm and they like the idea of -- amazing. they want you to follow the rules. you think the student, young people don't want to follow the rules, want politicians to follow the rules because they suffer abuse if the government runs rough shod over them and they are very much into privacy. i talk a loot about the internet and they don't want anybody messing with the internet and i identify with them. >> is great to see new voters,
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young people brought into the process of any political persuasion, that is a great asset for your campaign. the other end of the spec trouble, you get endorsements from some people and some organizations, whose few views are pretty outlandish and outrageous. they market books like the invention of the jewish people, march of the titans, don black, director of a white nationalist website, storm front, militia of montana says people should defend themselves against a new world order. you comfortable -- >> not comfortable for you making a big point out of it doesn't seem logical. one day, i got 46,000 new donors, in one day, on a money bond. am i to know what these people think and do? all i know is if they come to me and they give me support, they have to endorse what i do and i'm very clear on what i do and i do not investigate them. there's no way i can do t happens to all the campaigns. you want go back and check everybody that ever donated to obama? maybe there was a communist that donated to him, maybe a
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socialist, maybe a big government, maybe the military industrial complex donated to him sew would keep building weapons and run these cars. so i mean, it's -- it's -- it's something that happens, but yeah, i -- i denounce them automatically, i shouldn't even have to because it calls too much attention to it because i emphasize the poztive, the things that i believe in and the constitution and individual liberty and a sensible for rip policy. so, that to me is so incidental that i -- i think it deserves a lot less attention. >> sometime it is a supporter says for you and speaking your name, they cause trouble, isn't something like this but a new hampshire supporter of you, new hampshire liberty for paul. i want you to listen to a little bit. he put up a video on the internet that takes aim as jon huntsman. let's listen a little bit. ♪ >> you hear the mandarin there the ad says john huntsman,
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manchurian candidate, he was the ambassador to china. >> that raises more questions, already admitted it had wasn't me, why put it out there and say why do you have to defend this guy? of course, i disavow him and he shouldn't do it, because you have one out of, you know, how many hundred, couple hundred thousand, 500,000 people, i don't know how many we have, because one does that to bring that up just doesn't seem like, you know, a fair thing to do of course i denounce him. i couldn't even hear, haven't looked at it, but people do that but they do it in all campaigns and that's why it is very unfair and you should help sort it out rather than putting people on the defense and say defend yourself against these bad guys out there. so obviously, i just disavow them and try to go on and do the thing i'm supposed to do. >> the thing you're supposed to do is campaign for the nomination. i want an honest answer. you speak often about the movement. when ron paul wakes up in the morning, do you see a path to the nomination or do you see a chance to use this campaign as a
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platform for a movement that is critically important to you? >> why can't i do both? some people take it out of context because i emphasize the movement and the philosophy in what i've done for all these years. at the same time, i run, i started off that way and was elected 12 times and we are having fairly good success right now. so yes, it is a path to victory. how easy it is going to be? obviously, not going to be easy. but to say it is one or the other and therefore, i'm discredited because i believe in something. this is why i'm getting support, especially from young percentage i do believe in something that is one of the main reasons yes get a lot of votes. i would say believing in something shouldn't shouldn't be a distraction as much as a compliment running for office. >> you ran four years ago, you know the rules are different, even if you don't win, ron paul, 20% in iowa, see what new hampshire and south carolina do used to be winner take all, don't get that many delegate, if any at all. now you get delegates.
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your posture, you hope to win the nomination, if you don't, look, i'm getting a big slice, i'm going to stay in for the long haul if i don't win, i'm going to got con vention, people make the comparison, you could be like jesse jackson was for the democrats in the 1980s, show up at the convention and say don't ignore my people, we want a speaking role, want to influence the platform. do you see that? >> that is a good point, sounds like a lot of fun and also say might be a way for me to promote the things i believe in and that is a political action. so yes, if we have something to say who knows, they might even have something in the platform that says, maybe we ought to look at the federal reserve and maybe we ought to reconsider and not going to war unless we have a declaration of war, which is very, very popular with the american people. so i would say that's one instruction i give others, i will give myself the instruction, we ought to have a little fun in this, too serious, hard work. form. you are days left to the new hampshire votes. congressman, we appreciate you taking a break for us today. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> all right. sure, the new hampshire
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primary in four days is just the second vote of the 2012 cycle but tonight's truth, a painful history lesson for any candidate not named mitt romney. and later, charles barkley apparently forgot his microphone was on. yes, you will hear what he said about people who write his paychecks. when bp made a commitment to the gulf, we knew it would take time, but we were determined to see it through. today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years. thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard. i'm glad to report all beaches and waters are open
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here is the biggest question in republican politics tonight, is mitt romney on the verge of inevitableity? foolish to think such a thing, his rivals would assert, many of you agree. only iowa has voted. romney has just a measly 176% of the delegate, 1.6% he would need to officially clinch the nomination, but here's tonight's truth. most nomination bats are settled by momentum, not marathon delegate battles, three consecutive bats and romney's rivals have just dies stop him from beginning the race with those three consecutive victory, he won iowa, leading here in new hampshire 24 points, new polling tonight shows governor romney with a two to one lead in south carolina. so what you say? yes, it's true. after south carolina, only about 3% of the republican convention delegates will have been selected but consider history, in the past 32 years no republican incumbent, not an incumbent president, no republican has won iowa, new hampshire and south carolina, in other words, no republican in a
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contested open nomination battle has opened the season 3-0. one more bit of history, since its inception in 1980, every winner of the south carolina presidential primary has won the nomination. locals there like to call it the firewall. truth is, with new hampshire voting in four days and south carolina in 15, governor romney's rivals are running short of time to change a race that at the moment is stacked exactly, exactly as he would want it. here with me to discuss the noll nation fight, "washington post" political reporter karen tim melty, national political director and senior political analyst, ron brownstein, you look at these numbers, in the 40s in new hampshire, congressman paul, 20, to 25 points behind, they all assume romney will win new hampshire, the question, how far can they try to bring them down. are these debates this weekend, karen, maybe the last opportunity for a gingrich or a son -- rum not only to assert them sbifs knock romney down. i know it sounds ludicrous, so early in the process, but --
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>> but these moments can matter. most famously four years ago, the democratic side, where, you know, new hampshire voters looked at that debate, looked at everybody kind of ganging up on hillary clinton and decided, you know what, we are going to give her a little more running room. so there's always a possibility for that kind of moment. but you're right. the door does seem to be close. >> doesn't seem to be anybody close enough to get them. the question can they get them down? >> can they establish an effective line of argument change the dynamic going forward in south carolina in the problem opponents says if the cascading effect or compound interest effect. he is now ahead in south carolina, some people in the romney campaign say maybe not quite as much that is poll has it, but still ahead, the only thing that the -- the biggest thing that will happen between now and south carolina, he is almost certainly going to win new hampshire by a big margin, you have the effect that will reinforce in south carolina. what comes right after issing sex? florida, wrest the only one spending money. again, if he wins each of these
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states, the only intervening event will be another victory for romney, they chaed knead to change that storyline by developing an argument against him. >> one of the best thing also he has going for him though is the fact all these people are still in the race, still dividing up the vote. >> if you look for -- their argument is the base love him, doesn't love him. if you look at this new south carolina polling, it's stunning. he leads among born-again christians by 13 points. those not evangelicals he leads 24 points. tea party 9 points. among those identified as conservatives, he's up 15 points. among republicans 13 points, among independents, 22 points. >> the one silver lining in the poll for his opponents is among the evangelicals and the tea party he's closer to a third of the vote and that kind of hauls out the fantasy scenario that if you can consolidate the more conservative voters who are still resisting him, you would have a shot. but again, you run out of opportunities. south carolina, as you point out, has picked the winner in each of the past five contested republican races.
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even though it's a conservative state, it has bended more toward the establishment than the conservative candidate. >> speaker gingrich is saying i'm the conservative alternative. let's listen. >> i think we'll do better in new hampshire than people expect because when you start to describe a massachusetts moderate and you remind people of his record, they go, oh, yeah, he's not a conservative. it's a joke for him to call himself a conservative. it's a "saturday night live" skit. >> the speaker keeps making that case. how long can you make it, though, if romney is beating you? especially if he's getting around 40% and you're getting around 15%? >> and direction too. newt gingrich is sinking in the polls really, really fast. so this is -- you know, he is starting to look like a product that's passed its sold by date. >> when you look here in this state, ron paul seems to be almost mitt romney's best friend. he's taking up a nice chunk of the vote, he's in second place. all these republicans who call him out of the mainstream, they're about to lose to him. >> four years ago john mccain
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was a plurality nominee. he won without a majority of the party ever affirmatively saying they wanted him. only about a third of self-identified republicans. the situation is developing for romney to follow down that same track where even if you don't have an absolute majority of the party that says yes, he's who i want, as long as you've got santorum, gingrich, paul and perry, he doesn't need it. you know, we started the day on starting point, tim scott was asked who's a better conservative for the tea party, newt gingrich or rick santorum. he said that's a tough one. that's why this is looking so easy for mitt romney right now. >> ron, karen, four days until new hampshire votes. nice to have your help tonight. erin burnett "outfront" at the top of the hour. how are you? >> i'm good. interesting hearing you talk about this and the economy, how a lot of candidates are trying to put it front and center. a little bit of an awkward day given the blowout jobs number. we have a big jobs problem but there is an amazing way of looking at this when we crunched
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the number that say we will share with everyone. let me just tell you this, what it does is it puts ronald reagan and barack obama together. we're going to talk about that at the top of the hour and explain exactly what we mean. why it would be morning in america for barack obama. also michelle parker, a mother in florida who has been missing since november 17th, two little toddlers, her mother comes on with a plea for her car and we hope that people will listen to her and hopefully help her out. all that coming up at the top of the hour. back to you. >> we'll see you in just a couple of minutes, erin. thank you. ahead here, today's spoof presidential debate that's lighting up the internet. no lies invited. sorry, lies. >> i work alone. >> for real? did mike tyson's performance as herman cain influence any voters? stay put, the best moments next. ] why do we grow quaker oats?
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welcome back. kate is back with the latest news you need to know right now. >> hey there again. here's one that's not just for the lawyers, everyone. the obama justice department is changing the decades-old legal definition of rape. for the first time rape will mean any kind of nonconsensual penetration, no matter the gender of the attacker or the victim. in other news, authorities have a warning for southern california's homeless. stay in groups, don't sleep in
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dark secluded areas. there's a serial killer out there. they found similarities in the stabbing deaths of three people over a ten-day span last month. and you can never say this too much. oh, we know this so well on television. be careful any time you're near a microphone, it may just be on. as proof, we give you nba commentator charles barkley talking about life as a pitch man for weight watchers. >> i've been on weight watchers for three months. i have to lose two pounds a week. i'm at 38 pounds now. i ain't never missed a weigh-in, never going to. i thought this was the greatest game going, it's weight watchers that's a bigger scam. >> now, to be fair charles barkley wasn't calling weight watchers a scam, just the fact that he was being paid to lose weight. barkley has lost weight. take a look at this. here he is before and after. that's significant. i guess, john, you remember his nickname when he played in the nba, the round mound of rebound?
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that's new to me but of course you'll know that and he's not so round anymore, i guess. >> you know, i've known charles for 10, 12 years and he does look a lot better but he's stull the same. sometimes the tongue gets out ahead of the brain. it happens, it happens. he's a funny guy. kate, stay put. finally, tonight's moment you may have missed. we are going to help you. we told this aboyou about this night. >> we give the candidates seven seconds and whoever can mention ronald reagan's name the most wins the round! go! >> reagan, reagan, reagan, reagan, reagan, reagan, reagan -- >> time's up. and the winner -- >> you get the point? how many times? kate, how many times cuan you sy ronald reagan in seven seconds? >> i don't know. i've got one bettero

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